Attachments

I always knew that I would attach to whatever kids we fostered. I envisioned a relationship where I most likely cared for them more than they cared for me, where they loved their parents, where they eventually returned to their (rehabilitated and newly wonderful) parents and forgot about me shortly thereafter. Painful for me, happy for them, best for the kids, the whole works. Oh sure, I have/had hopes of adopting eventually but I know that the ultimate goal is to return kids to their parents. This, I believe, is as it should be, AS LONG AS it is in the children's best interest.

I never expected all of the anger that I would feel. I believe much of this anger comes as a result of knowing the kids. When I was on the Foster Care Review Board I read about bad situations all the time. And yes, it made me mad. But now that I know these kids, when their mom does those things it makes me REALLY mad. I think for some reason I could kind of justify it before...like maybe those other kids were really naughty or otherwise somewhat deserving of a poor parent. I realize this makes no sense at all. But at any rate, knowing how lovely these children are (yes they can be difficult, but no more so than other children their ages) it just makes me so irritated to see their parents' attitudes.

She canceled their visit again yesterday, but they did have the visit today. It was honestly nice to have the break, though I didn't get everything that I wanted to get accomplished done. When the transport worker came to pick them up C threw a fit, as usual. I normally try to prepare him ahead of time by telling him he is going to go see his mommy with Y, and that he will be coming back to our house afterwards. He normally says "No!" and won't look at me. Then when the workers get here he throws himself down on the ground and throws a fit. Today the worker said "Wow, he must really like you...he never did this at his other placement. He used to throw a fit when he left his mom's house but he really doesn't do that anymore." That made me happy and sad at the same time - sad mostly for his mom; I wonder if she knows what is going on and how she feels about it or if she even cares. It makes me feel good that he likes being here, though.

The other day we finally got a hold of C's former foster mom to pick up the rest of his clothes. Brian was working, so I had to take C and D with me to go get the clothes and stuff. When we pulled up to the lady's house C started crying, it was so pathetic. I'm sure he thought that he was going to have to go there again. I felt really bad that we had to take him with us but there was really no other way! Poor guy. As soon as we walked out of the house I told him we were going home and he stopped crying.

D keeps talking about how he wants to go to a different foster home. I'm not really sure what to think of it. I wonder if he feels that he is getting too attached to us, or what? He says we are "too strict" which compared to his mom I'm sure we are. But we really give him a lot of freedom (I feel it's too much freedom!), we let him have friends spend the night, and if he asks us for something or to take him somewhere we do try to do that though we really can't do it all the time - it's hard to go do things that 11 year olds like to do when you also have a 1 and a 2 year old. He has already said he likes us more than his old foster home, but now he is all "I want to go back to Brenda's!" and "I can't wait til my auntie gets approved, then I can go live with her" or "I want to go live with C's old foster mom, because she had a 9 year old foster kid!" I know we kind of live in po-dunk ville, and his mom has made the decision for him to attend school at the school that is close to her house...which is fine, but he is not going to make any friends that live around here if he doesn't go to school around here.

We have been having battles lately. He wants to brush his teeth only once a day, which personally I think is disgusting. He was even to the point of not going to his camp today for his punishment because he didn't want to take the 2 minutes to brush his teeth. He also does not want to wear his glasses. This is a HUGE point of contention for some reason. The stuff he picks to battle us about is so ridiculous, but I'm sure I was the same way as a kid.

We've offered to pay him $10 for each book that he reads. So far he has not taken us up on it - he "doesn't like to read during the summer". If my parents would've done that I would have been SO RICH! He asked how much we'd pay him to read the Bible and I told him $200. He hasn't started yet. The other day he went to bed at 6:15 p.m. because he was given the choice of either a) doing his chores (which take less than 30 minutes, probably more like 15) or b) going to bed. He chose to go to bed and stayed there for the entire evening and night.

On the GOOD side, though, he has decided to start a dog walking service for people in our neighborhood. I took him around last night to hand out flyers. I'm hoping that someone will call him but I kind of doubt they will. Honestly, I wouldn't trust some kid I didn't know to walk my dogs. I only recently let him start taking Shiba out on walks.

It's just interesting. With a kid that age it's hard to know what to put your foot down about and what to let go. I really hope we can instill a good work ethic in him. He keeps saying how he wishes he was 19 (the age to be an adult) so that he can go live with his aunt so no one can tell him what to do. I just laugh! Really, that's your goal in life, to go live with your aunt? Oh dear. We have a long way to go. I hope there is enough time for us to make a difference and I really hope we are making good decisions here.

Comments

  1. I feel so overwhelmed for you when I read what kinds of decisions you're being faced with. I would have no clue what to "put my foot down on and what to let go of"... we have to make those kinds of decisions with Levi but they're more like "honey, should we let him throw his cup on the floor, or should we teach him not to?".

    I wouldn't take it personally when D says he want's to move. Obviously, it's quite clear, there are boundaries in your house. He's coming to understand what's expected of him. kids THRIVE when they understand the expectations set before them, even if they don't appreciate them in the short-run. If he were to move out to his aunties, I GUARANTEE he'd be whining to move back to your place, where he feels proud to be a contributing family member.

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